Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Elderly People

Tidbits and notes. Part 410

The first priority of Lebanon mass demonstrators is to roam the streets and remove/tear all the portraits and banners of political figures. The politicians were supposed to remove themselves their portraits by law, and they failed to obey the law. This is good priority for the Iraqis, the Egyptians, the Tunisians, the Syrians…

An #Israeli soldier approached a 74-year-old #Palestinian woman Ghalya Abu-Rida. He gave her water, then took a photo with her and then he shot her in the head. And He watched her die

I say, every one must have his identity: Death has forced on us the I.

I say, what exists must be discovered: Death impressed on us to know.

I say, every feeling must be experienced: Death created stages for us to grow.

I say, there must be a meaning to life: Death did not leave us a choice in that.

I conjecture that all these frequent pre-emptive wars of USA overseas are meant to dissipate the prevalent racism spreading quickly and deeply, or manifesting itself too blatantly during the brief periods of US non-virulent active aggression on other countries.

I am reading “Mr. Gwyn” by Alessandro Baricco, a French translation. I don’t dare jump to the last chapter. Even if the ending is Not that satisfactory, I wouldn’t mind repeating the experiment, of creating portraits in words in the book, by changing the variables, in the timing, the luminosity, the music and the setting…

Aux moments difficiles, dire une connerie qui vient du coeur se pardonne volontier, mais pas un silence confortable

L’espoir fait surtout vivre ceux qui en tirent profit: les voyantes, les gourous…Des promesses qui n’engagent que ceux qui y croient.

Bournesh? In northern Albania, the tradition is to appoint a girl to become the head of the clan, given that the family could Not have a boy. Thus, the bournesh is to swear never to marry or have kids. The essential right is: “the bournesh will have the right to avenge the blood of a member of the clan...” Fortunately, this tradition is vanishing.

Quand on a mal, on ne trouve plus d’endroit pour se refugier: on est exproprie’.

Classification of pains, les douleurs. Celles qui rongent, qui dechirent, qui pressent, qui broient. La lancinante, l’ invasive, celle qui pulse, qui vous plie en deux, celles qui viennentt avec ses outilles d’ Inquisition, celle qui vous reveille, les viscerales, les osseuses, les nausees, essouflement, oppression, vertiges, les frissons, celle qui vous agacent comme une mouche, celles qui vous disloquent…

Wish a few houses open their salons to welcome functional elderly people, to meet for a couple of hours, to chat, re-group… before returning to their isolation at home. A paid administrator can coordinates the visits and the transport. And I am willing to contribute to that project.

It’s unclear if poor facial recognition causes introversion or if it’s the other way around. (Thus, AI facial recognition programs are certainly extroverts?)

Every demonstration, march… is a blessing. It keeps the government on tip toe, Not taking the citizens for granted.

In one longitudinal study, two brain areas associated with movement and learning were smaller in bullied teens. (Consequently, you could conjecture who was bullied, even if he refuses to admit it?)

Nazism adopted the USA racist classification that discriminated among the landing immigrants in the 1920’s. Even WWII didn’t change much in the rooted racism in the Silent Majority.

Actions speak louder: civil disobedience in Lebanon of driving private cars.

Let’s start a trend of stopping to drive to main cities one day in a week. Let’s select a Saturday. People might realize that taking taxis and service cars and sharing cars is much cheaper at all levels.

Let us promote this suggestion on social media. It will take some time for people to get moving, but persistence is key to any change

How complex is Your life experience?

Why well to do people cannot help but judging and belittling people life experiences?

How many of you experienced a few of these events in their life?

Visited the sinks of small restaurants serving Mexican food? And hand washed and cleaned dishes soiled with all kind of cheese and fat?

Cleaned restrooms and toilets? Vacuumed 4 floors of libraries and collected the trash?

Mopped and shined wood parkets?

Had to wake up at 4 am for years to work on 4 minimum wage jobs in order to pay the tuition for graduate courses?

Was awaken at 2 am by the manager to observe the dead bodies of 4 night guards, killed with machetes to rob the safebox of the manager?

Who suffered from malaria in Nigeria and was taken to an Egyptian doctor, living alone in a shanty house, deep in the forest?

Who slept hungry?

Who rented a space to sleep in guesthouses and had to vacate early morning?

Who cared for years for his bedridden elderly parents (both of them in their 90’s)? And had to wake up twice at night, go down stairs to switch the interruptor for the private electricity provider in response to the sound of the air ventilator machine?

Who rented rooms in basements?

Who lived with elderly people because their children “feared” to leave them alone in the house?

Who managed a retirement community in a 9-story building, hopped with them in a van to visit sites in the city, take picture of them, interview them for the monthly gazette to promote this lousy private institution? And witness several clients commit suicide by throwing themselves from windows?

Who boarded the slowest Amtrak train of the 70’s that made you feel you’ll never reach destination.

Who got on a Greyhound bus for 3 days and nights to cross from one state to another, just to attend a convention?

Who was awaken at midnight in a hotel room by your advisor to say “you are snoring”

Who tried all kinds of jobs, just to discover a single job that he would consider worth a life endeavor, a passion that will make him wake up happy and excited to go to work, and miserably failed to find and settle on this job/passion?

Who was 2 hours away from certain death when he got typhoid fever in Africa at the age of 5, and had to re-learn how to walk after a month in the cold chamber?

Who lived alone for 20 years in a foreign land, no relatives around, and had to fend for his survival everyday?

Who had to learn to place 50 cold calls every morning to strangers in order to fulfil the requirement of a real estates company?

Who walked every single street in an entire county and knock on every house to distribute promoting leaflets?

Who attended every conceivable university courses, math, chemistry, physics, engineering (industrial and human factors), psychology, econometrics, economy, accounting, higher education… All the probability graduate courses, experimental designs applied by different fields and their statistical analyses packages and interpretation of results, running experiments with subjects, designing ATM interface that never changed through the decades…

Who took Artificial Intelligence course in the late 90’s, the kind of “If…then” queries from experts in their fields, and neutral network created by psychologists?

How many international exams and tests, national and syndicate exams and tests, language proficiency exams and tests, including driving exams (oral and written) in every state you settle in? (Obviously rules and laws of driving do Not change that dramatically, but governments need fresh money. I did all of them in 3 languages (French, English and Arabic) and stopped counting long time ago. Multiple choice exams ae no brainer if you know the order of dimension in every engineering field. Without preparation, I managed to pass, and that was good enough.

Teaching at universities with 60 students per class. Students Not there to learn anything, but to secure a certificate for attending a university. Heavily copy/pasted internet homeworks to depress you.

At universities that don’t believe in subscribing to peer-reviewed scientific papers, and I had to write my own course material and distribute the chapter one session at a time. Great exercise for me to relearn and offer what the class could assimilate. And testing and exams requirement to my chagrin, since only a couple students per class cared to learn and appreciated the material.

Never settling in one location for more than a couple years. Carrying barely a couple of suitcases and leaving behind all my possessions. I even gave away for free 2 cars because I could Not afford the repairs.

I read the original books of the famous and known authors of every state I settled in, and read in 3 languages whatever book I could get my hands on and was available. And translated many passages to spread the “learning” of different social fabrics.

I have been reading since the age of 13, and started with French books, then Arabic and finally books in English. Though I can write proficiently in 3 languages, I got used to writing in English.

I have been maintaining a blog (about ten thousand article/posts so far) of what means to me and is worth communicating.

I survived so far and don’t miss the belongings that I left behind.

What of the millions upon millions of refugees?

Fleeing war-torn countries. Walking, for days, with toddlers and children. Hoping to stumble on a UN facility. Sheltering under a makeshift tent, if available, in the snow, pouring rain, scorching sun. Encampment burned by the locals.

Camps closed and transferring again, to nowhere. To the unknown, wishing to live one more day, the whole family intact. Drown in the sea, dying from curable diseases for lack of medical treatment. Hungry most of the time, thirsty all the time.

Tear-gassed, beaten, harassed, maltreated, chased away like dirty dogs, regardless of level of education and many spoken languages.

Elderly people to die in indignity: the slowest of death invented by health care systems

A friend confided in me. He talked for an hour and his story almost matched mine.

The story of parents dying the slow death, in daily and constant pains, bed-ridden and no outside aid coming to the rescue of hapless family members

“My father is 89 and my mother is 86.

My father health has been deteriorating fast in the last couple of years. What started as a pneumonia, Not taken care of immediately, degenerated in a bed-ridden body living on external oxygen machine 24/24, in a country with no steady electricity. Actually, it was my dad refusing to go to the hospital until he felt totally helpless.

In this winter season, he barely uses the walker for his morning shit. By noon, he rather not get up from bed, on the ground that he feels too weak and too cold to step out of his cozy bed. (We lacked central heat because we couldn’t afford the cost of mazout)

Mother is in a worse case in matter of aches and pains, but she is functional and make sure that she washes father in the morning and bring him food in bed. Not to mention changing the bed sheets every morning and all dad’s wet cloths.

The problem for mother is that father insists on not leaving his bed after lunch on account that he feels too cold and out of power to walk to the close-by toilet for his frequent pissing sessions. And we wrap him with pampers till morning.

Mother has this daunting task of changing father every morning and doing at least 2 washes for the wet bed and father’s cloths, every morning, and she suffers from back pain, arthritis, and you name it. And dad plays the child game for constant attention and waking up mother at night for no valid reasons.

Mother considers that putting in 8 straight hours of work in the morning, without any break to rest, her daily job. And everyone in the household must share with her non-stop chores. Even when she feels sick and unable to work, until she faints and drops.

Occasionally, mother sleeps in the sitting room because father makes it a point to wake her up frequently, just out of boredom and restlessness.  Eventually, she returns to sleep in the bedroom, out of compassion and duty.

Father has had no jobs for the last 40 years. What he did when he could drive was give ride to his 6 grandchildren to school and bring them back home, and doing a few gardening…

And he was a heavy smoker since he was 14 of age, mainly smoking in the sitting room, and polluting this room, while enjoying a few glasses of whisky.

Until he started to fall down after finishing drinking. He had to quit drinking, but resumed smoking, out of total boredom and dense worries from the fast dwindling of pecuniary resources.

No government facilities to rescue the elderly people, not even in health insurance, or a small remittance every month... The elderly people are in the care of the children, relatives… supposedly in the care of the community that no longer exists.

Dad has plenty of time now to dream of the time he was still able, but I guess he can focus on how to stay alive: He keeps touching the Saint icons.  For a soft departure or for exhausting mother to death?

Do you think his deep wish is to see mother passing away before he does? A senile revenge of people who revert to childhood?

Funny, every now and then father creates a tantrum to remind mother that he is the head of the family and that what he wishes must be obeyed, and bangs his walker to confirm his statement: “I want you to wrap me up now (7afdineh) for the remainder of the day and night” and this tragic bout of energy surges at the time mother is taking a short nap from a back ache.

And when mother tells him: “I am tired. wait till I rest…” father responds: “You do it now or I’ll piss in bed...”  These kinds of reactions…

He goes: “Ya wallao? are you sleeping? Get up now…”

He does not exhibit all his pent up anger and desperation when I am around: He knows that my reactions can be worse than his, and we do have the same bad genes

I aided mother in cleaning and wrapping up dad when I was around, and dad abstained from harassing mother when he knew I was there. It was a 24/24 job for me and mother to keep dad contended, and he wanted to eat at his routine schedule, Not a minute later, and he ate well and voraciously.

Most of the time  I had to wake up several times at night in order to go down and switch the electrical interrupter from public to private provider (and vice versa) because we could not afford an automatic interrupter that required a higher amperage. And the oxygen machine was run on electricity and dad would shout when he sensed that the machine had stopped.

A year before he passed away, he opted to be totally bed-ridden, kind of despaired for any recovery.

At least father managed to construct a building of 3 floors, one for each one of his children who all graduated from universities and are married with children. Except one child: I never married and have no children that I know of. And I now live with my elderly parents for the last 14 years.

I don’t recall ever having a chat with dad, and now he is almost deaf and he refuses to babble. And mother’s chatting are of the most boring and regurgitates the same worries that I cannot help with and suggestions that are too late to reverse and act upon.

Mother never cared to handle money in her life and never wrote a check.

Currently, she has to handle the few cash that she receives every now and then from her children and relative and make sure that she can buy her medicine, father’s couches, the gas canisters for cooking, bread and biscuits for dad… Nothing fancy at all.

And she declines invitations because she will have to bring a gift as custom demands, and she has to cook a few sweet dishes for the occasions… and keeps cleaning the house in the event anyone remembers suddenly to pay her visit…

I wish the visits are not set in advance by “appointment”: Mother will start cleaning and cooking a week in advance of the visit, and ends up working overtime. And I was the only one to help her with all the cleaning tasks.

I aid mother in most of her chores: assistant cook, washing dishes, vacuuming, lifting “heavy” stuff that she can no longer perform, changing bed sheets, gardening, gathering vegetables and fruits, tending to the few chickens that I don’t want in the house, going on errands…

I find time to read, write, post articles on my blog, watch documentaries and non-violent good movies on cables after every one in the household is supposed to be sleeping…

Tell me. Am I talking abstract so far?

My dad suffered a mild stroke at night: he must have knew it but we didn’t. We forced him to go to the hospital, but he kept saying: I want to die at home.

In the hospital, 2 days before Christmas, dad did such a tantrum for 2 days and a night and harassed all the nurses and mother that they had to send him home.

After lunch on Christmas Eve he passed away while mother was taking her nap. My nephew checked on him and he told me that dad must have died. I approached a looking glass to check on his breathing because he was in a serene state with eyes opened.

Apparently, he wanted to ruin our celebration, or maybe send the message that he is no longer willing to ruin our lives.

Mother is Not in any good shape because of all kinds of pains and aches to the stomach, back, neck, hands, and you name it.

I took her to the hospital for a check up on a pain to her side that lingered for 2 days and kept her awake. Two days later, mother was home with no major relief: a small cyst in her abdomen and maybe a mild thyroid deficiency.

There was nothing that can be done to elderly people, much less performing any kinds of surgeries that are Not urgent.

Two years now and mother is still suffering, especially during the cold season and lack of hot water.

She insists on waking up and working in the kitchen for a couple of hours until she barely reach the sofa and don’t move for the day and watch TV.

Frequently she keeps working and trying to keep boredom at bay until all kinds of acute pains force her to the sofa.

She barely can hear, and all she wants is someone to visit her to listen to her. But practically nobody visits her or has the patience to talk to her or listen to her.

Mother is a rock and still functional. Her worst nightmare is to feel dependent on her daily chores.

Such a big difference between mother’s resilience and dad’s attitude to pain.

My worst nightmare is, if I have to survive as long as my parents, “How am I to spend the next 24 years, if no haphazard calamity suddenly ends my life?”

 

 

Photos of Elderly People: Looking at their Younger Reflections

‘Reflections of The Past’ is an award-winning photo series by commercial advertising photographer Tom Hussey.

The photographs show an elderly person looking pensively at the reflection of his/her younger self in the mirror.

Hussey was inspired by a World War II veteran who said “I can’t believe I’m going to be 80. I feel like I just came back from the war. I look in the mirror and I see this old guy.”

It’s beautiful, touching and something everyone will go through at some point in their lives. Check out the series below.

1.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (1)

2.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (2)

3.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (3)

4.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (4)

5.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (5)

6.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (6)

7.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (7)

8.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (8)

9.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (9)

10.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (10)

11.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (11)

12.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (12)

13.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (13)

14.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (14)

15.

Reflections of the past by Tom Hussey (15)

The images were used by healthcare company Novartis in a marketing campaign for its Exelon Patch, which is used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

The campaign won a Gold Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation and was featured in the Communication Arts Photography Annual.

Which one’s your favourite? Share this post and voice your feedback in the comments below.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2021
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